|A 2nd Lieutenant, Artillery Observer, of the Royal Netherlands Army Air Force pre-WWII uniform
courtsey of the A. Rigutto collection
|The Netherlands had a proud aviation corps that was part of the standard army. As such, pilots were recruited from other branches, typically infantry, and kept their previous uniforms. This uniform reflects an artillery officer based on the red piping throughout.
|The Dutch army pilot wore army grey-green and officers wore the high collared tunic with a seven button front. A garrison 'sam browne' belt was part of regulations. The officer's rank of First Lieutentant is indicated by the silver star on the collar.
|The tunic is made of fine wool with pleated chest pockets and scalloped flaps. The lower bellows pockets also have scalloped flaps. The rear of the jacket has a central vent with two buttons on back. There are epaulets on both shoulders but no insignia.
|This officer wears the Dutch Army Air Force observer wing. This would make sense for an artillery officer as one of the strategic tenents of early air fighting was artillery observation and ground forces co-operation. The wing is made of gold embroidered bullion thread and blue felt sewn directly to the tunic by the tailor. The twin propeller branch of service devices on the collar are made the same way.
|The Netherlands army button with the Royal Lion.
|The Lieutentant device is a six-pointed vaulted star, made of brass and gilded silver. The star is engraved with surrounding lines. It is attached to the collar with prongs.
|Inside the jacket shows the owner's name, 'Rodenburg'. The jacket is dated 1935.
|The back of the jacket showing the two rear buttons.
|The grey-green officer's breeches with the red piping for artillery.
|The standard army officer's kepi for junior officers. This was worn by all branches until obsoleted by a side cap.
|The cap manufacturer's stamp.
|*Click on any picture to see full size.
|© Tod Rathbone